Year 10 student Florence Asiedu may be in line to represent Great Britain at the next Olympics after being selected to join the goalball Paralympics team. Florence was introduced to the sport earlier this year at an event in Wellingborough. She did so well that she was invited to trials, has now been given a place on the team and is due to go to training camps abroad.
Goalball involves teams of three blindfolded players, who have to score goals using a specially adapted ball that contains bells, so players can locate it. The blindfolds allow partially sighted players to compete on an equal footing with blind and sighted players.
The trials were held in Birmingham. Florence said: ‘At first we did some warm ups and practice on how to block the goal. Then we did shooting practices and played with blindfolds on and it was really cool. The trainers said I had got a really strong hand and could throw the ball really hard. They showed us how they do it really hard so we could see how fast the ball actually goes. I could be going to Rio for the next Olympics. We are going to York to do some training so they will see how strong we are and we will do fitness training and goalball practice.’
The team is going to train in Germany, Sweden, Moscow and Hungary in June, July and August and, as six girls from a squad of 12, will be chosen to train at each venue, Florence should be offered a place at two of the overseas camps.
She said: ‘I haven’t met the other girls yet but they are around my age. It is really fun and a really great opportunity for me. We can play with blind players as well as those who cannot see very well. It doesn’t matter if you can see or not because you use blindfolds anyway.’
Sports teacher Mrs Bryan said: ‘It is fantastic that Florence has been given this opportunity, especially as she has just been introduced to the sport. We hope that this is the start of a fantastic goalball career for her.’